Levitate Your Fiction Hand Out!

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EVERY NOVEL HAS “UNBELIEVABLE“ ELEMENTS.  YOUR JOB AS A WRITER IS TO “MAKE BELIEVE”—THAT IS MAKE YOUR READER BELIEVE THE PARTS OF YOUR STORY THAT DON’T MAKE LITERAL SENSE.

SUSPEND DISBELIEF!

HOW? HERE ARE SEVEN (PLUS ONE) TOOLS.

 

1.     FIND YOUR INCREDIBLE ELEMENT. REAL PEOPLE’S LIVES AREN’T STRUCTURED LIKE PLOTS SO EVERY STORY HAS AT LEAST ONE UNBELIEVABLE ELEMENT. EVEN MEMOIR AND NONFICTION HAVE PARTS THAT ARE UNBELIEVABLE.

2.     OWN YOUR UNREAL ELEMENT. CONFRONT IT HEAD ON. LEAVE AT LEAST A TRAIL OF BREAD CRUMBS TO THAT UNBELIEVABLE ELEMENT FROM THE START OF YOUR STORY.

3.     INVENT PROOF. MAKE YOUR OWN SCIENCE. BOLSTER BELIEVABILITY BY PROPOSING “FACTUAL” ELEMENTS THAT PROVE YOUR PREMISE IS TRUE.

4.     INCLUDE “WONDER-FULL” DETAIL. SOME DETAIL IS SENSORY (DESCRIPTIONS OF HOW THINGS LOOK, SMELL, TASTE, ETC.)  SOME DETAILS ARE ELISION- ELEMENTS THAT ARE PRESENTED NOT FOR THEIR OWN TRUTH BUT SO THE READER CAN MAKE INFERENCES FOR THEMSELVES—THUS PROVING IT TO THEMSELVES.

5.     HIRE A SKEPTIC- GIVE YOUR READER A BREAK. LET THE SKEPTICAL CHARACTER WORRY ABOUT THE TRUTH. WHEN YOUR STORY BREAKS THE SKEPTIC’S OBJECTIONS, ITEM BY ITEM, IT WILL ALSO BREAK YOUR READER’S OBJECTIONS.

6.     LIVE IN FEAR- FEAR IS THE STRONGEST EMOTION. DANGEROUS CONFLICT BETWEEN ANTAGONIST AND PROTAGONIST WILL DISTRACT YOUR READER FROM THEIR DOUBTS

7.     USE MICRO-TOOLS LIKE KINETIC OCCLUSION. K.O. IS LIGHT FLICKERING AGAINST A SOLID SURFACE. THIS CREATES DEPTH AND SPACE.

 

PLUS ONE- BELIEVE IN YOURSELF AS A WRITER AND IN YOUR STORY

 

Bibliography-

 

John Gardner, THE ART OF FICTION

 

Donald Maass THE FIRE IN FICTION

 

Rebecca Stead WHEN YOU REACH ME

 

Kate DiCamillo BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE

 

M. T. Anderson  THIRSTY

 

Janet Burroway WRITING FICTION

 

James Wood HOW FICTION WORKS

 

Alexandra Fuller DON’T LET’S GO TO THE DOGS TONIGHT

 

Cynthia Rylant MISSING MAY

 

Madeline L’Engle A WRINKLE IN TIME

 

Tami Lewis Brown SOAR, ELINOR!

 

Francisco X. Stork MARCELO IN THE REAL WORLD

 

Elaine Scarry DREAMING BY THE BOOK

 

M. T. Anderson THE ASTONISHING LIFE OF OCTAVIAN NOTHING TRAITOR TO THE NATION

 

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